Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Self Defense - Cross Hand Grab

A basic cross hand grab position

ere’s a method of practising self defense techniques against close in, personal attacks - start from the finger tips and work your way through all the possible attacks right up to a very close bear hug or choke.

A finger grasp, hand grasp, wrist grasp, forearm grasp, elbow, upper arm and shoulder, etc. - progressively - until there isn’t an inch left between you and the attacker.

We actually did that one evening with my Karate teacher, Sensei Monty Guest. (Traditional Karate is rich in joint locks, throws and takedowns). He started with the hands and worked his way up the arm. The class lasted over 1 ½ hours - and we never repeated a technique. But then again, that man has so much knowledge!

Some of the most common techniques in the martial arts are defenses against a cross hand wrist grab.

I’d like to look at one of the most popular of these. I believe it’s found in every martial art from Kempo to Tai Chi.

In the past I’ve shown techniques that require little or no practise. In this case, if it’s just a basic attack where the attacker grabs your wrist from the front, you may get away with a few hours of practise - especially if you combine this technique with the usual claw, palm heel and elbow strikes that I’ve mentioned before.

But if you want the type of instant joint-snapping at incredible high speed found in Praying Mantis Kung Fu where the attacker comes away with a destroyed wrist, then hours turn into months of practise. And the practise attacks on your wrist come at you from dozens of angles, over and over again, until the technique becomes a fluid, high speed weapon.

Trap the attacker's hand and kick

1.  The attacker grasps your right wrist with his right hand.

2.  Trap his hand by placing your left palm on the back of his right hand. Perform a right front kick to his knee or groin.

Circle your right hand around from underneath

3.  Maintaining your hold, circle your right hand clockwise from underneath.

Maintain your position close to your body

4.  Keep your arms close to your own body. That enables you to use the strength and stability of the entire body from the legs up instead of relying only on the muscles of the hands and forearm.

Twist his arm foreward and down

5.  Grasp his right wrist with your right hand and twist his  hand, wrist and forearm forward and down.

Your final hand position

Some martial artists can “pick” an attacker’s hand out of the air (like catching flies) and trap his hand in this type of a lock - while shifting forward, backward or sideways. I’ve had students trap one attacker in this lock and use his body as an obstacle against 2 or 3 other attackers.

Once you’ve gone beyond the basics, it’s a very adaptable technique, excellent for a variety of situations!

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